Support Local Journalism. Join Riverfront Times Press Club.

Richard Thompson 

Front Parlour Ballads (Cooking Vinyl)

Singer/guitarist Richard Thompson's songs of darkness and despair aren't an easy listen, given his doleful vocals, tangled and turbulent melodies, and observational narratives that strike a not-so-delicate balance between irony and invective. Nevertheless, as a founder of Fairport Convention, the '60s band at the center of Britain's folk-rock fusion, Thompson is still revered for his ability to tap into the traditional. That's evident on the all-acoustic Front Parlour Ballads, which draws on early-twentieth-century musical forms in its downcast tales of lovers, losers and lechers. "Let It Blow," with its driving refrain, is the most riveting of the bunch, though the tender "Precious One" and the rousing "The Boys of Mutton Street" are also excellent. Elsewhere, though, the doom, gloom and bittersweet circumstances become so ponderous that they actually impede the proceedings. But despite their sometimes skewed perspective, these songs mark another triumph for Thompson.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Riverfront Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Riverfront Times Club for as little as $5 a month.

Read the Digital Print Issue

October 13, 2021

View more issues

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In St. Louis

© 2021 Riverfront Times

Website powered by Foundation